February 4, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 69  

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SPORTS

Letter from the Edge: Alfredsson

Under review
Ian Denomme

Sports Editor

Dear Daniel Alfredsson,
I can’t stand you. I can’t stand to listen to you talk, look at you or watch you play. Most of this hatred goes back to the three straight playoff series’ against the Leafs. I couldn’t stand to look at your playoff “beard.” It looked like you starting growing it in October so it would be ready for playoff time in April, but it was still patchy and grossly orange. It’s pretty sad for a guy in his 30s.

Then there was the 2002 playoffs. The dirty hit from behind on Darcy Tucker which led to your game-winning goal. On my list, that’s up there with Wayne Gretzky’s high stick on Doug Gilmour in ’93 as the worst non-call ever. You should have been thrown out of the game, but instead you won the game. But we got the last laugh. The Leafs always do; you probably remember games six and seven pretty well. Letting the 2-0 lead slip away in game six then getting shutout in game seven.

That was a very common theme for three straight years. Ottawa vs. Toronto in the playoffs and all the “experts” picking Ottawa to win only to see them fall apart when it mattered most. Remember the 2001 playoffs? That would be the one where Ottawa was the No. 2 seed and Toronto was seventh. The Leafs went on to sweep the series in what was supposed to be Ottawa’s year.

Get a haircut, you bum! You look absolutely ridiculous with that hair flowing out the back and sides of your helmet. You’ve been appropriately nicknamed Krusty and you do look like a clown. Look at Gary Roberts: now there’s a haircut you can set your watch to.

That pretend stick-throwing incident in Toronto was not a classy move. You may be friends with Mats Sundin, but that was stupid. You’re lucky Tie Domi didn’t knock your head off.

Where do you get off being so cocky? Every year Ottawa is a favourite and every year you blow it. What have you ever done in the playoffs? Nothing. You’re a point-a-game player in the regular season, but come playoff time your production slips. Now you’ve gone and done something really stupid. You’ve raised the bar even more for your underachieving club.

You told an Ottawa newspaper, “I guarantee we win the Cup.” That’s a pretty serious prediction. Most players would avoid any kind of prediction like that.

Mark Messier did it in 1994, but that was during game six of the semi-finals and he was able to fulfill the lofty promise. You did it in early January and you won’t be able to come through. You’re just getting Senators fans overly excited again and setting yourself up for a major embarrassment. Come playoff time, that quote will be in the minds of every player, every game, for every team that plays against the Sens. I really just hope it’s the Leafs who get to send you golfing.

To show I’m not totally biased, I usually like to give some credit where it’s due. But, I can’t really think of anything. You won the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year in 1996, as a 24-year-old rookie — congratulations. You were pretty vocal after the 7-1 win in Toronto in early January, which deserves an asterisk beside it because of reasons that everyone knows — but after Saturday’s 5-1 loss, you didn’t have much to say. I’m looking forward to Thursday’s game.

 

 

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